US Championships | June 1-6, 2021

The Biggest Moments From The 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships

The Biggest Moments From The 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships

Here are just 10 of the many moments that stood out from the weekend of competition at the 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships.

Jun 7, 2021 by Miranda Martin
The Biggest Moments From The 2021 U.S. Gymnastics Championships

With multiple nights of competition and so many great gymnasts, there were so many moments to catch up on from this weekend at the 2021 U.S. Championships. Here are just 10 of the big moments that stood out from the few days of competition. 

1. Jade Carey’s New Floor Skill

During podium training Jade Carey showed a new skill, a triple twisting laid out double back. I’m STILL in awe, even though we didn’t see it in competition. 

Though she landed it a bit short at podium training, she shared videos on her Instagram where she landed it better in practice, showing that she could definitely compete it someday. 

2. Sunisa Lee Shows Up

Anyone counting out Sunisa Lee before this meet had to bite their tongue - Suni came in second all-around after making all eight routines across both nights of competition. On night one, she successfully competed her bar routine with full difficulty (6.8) for the first time. In the past, she has either lowered the difficulty for competition or fallen on the routine, but night one she connected everything and stuck the dismount, earning a 15.3. The routine is so good, her face at the end indicates she looks like she even surprised herself. She also placed first on bars and second on beam. 

3. Emma Malabuyo Surprises Everyone

Going into U.S. Championships no one was predicting Emma Malabuyo for a top-five finish, but that’s exactly what she did. After both days of competition, Malabuyo ended in fourth place all-around, exactly four points behind Jordan Chiles in third, and three tenths ahead of Leanne Wong, who took fifth. After experiencing a rough few years with injuries and setbacks, this was a huge moment for Malabuyo. 

4. Chellsie Memmel’s Vault

Despite not competing a double twisting Yurchenko since 2006, her vault at night one of the 2021 U.S. Championships was BETTER. 

On night one she also performed a solid beam routine and her first bars in competition since her comeback.

Oh, and apparently this was her first bar routine since her comeback. She shared that she’s never made it through a full bar routine yet, and wanted to just put it out in competition and see what happened. Just Chellsie Memmel things. 

Night two was a tough one for Memmel, falling on her Arabian on beam, putting her hand down on her vault landing, and falling twice on bars before deciding to not finish the routine, but no matter how her performance ends up, she continues to make history with her incredible comeback. 

5. Chiles Is A Consistency Queen 👑

Hitting eight for eight routines across the two days of competition, Jordan Chiles landed in third place all-around. She also saved some near-misses on floor and beam on night one, proving that she is a fighter and will work to save a skill that is going slightly awry. She also demonstrated her ability to make decisions quickly under pressure - her usual beam series of an aerial - loso - loso became only an aerial into a single layout stepout when she was slightly off on night two. These kinds of saves and quick decision-making are important aspects in competition, and Chiles proved her ability here at nationals. 

One noteworthy performance was on vault, where she threw a Tsuk full and stated that it was a preview of something more to come at Olympic Trials. We'll have to wait and see if she throws a Tsuk double at Trials. 

6. Simone’s Stuck Triple Double

Just when you think Simone can’t get any more incredible, she STICKS her triple double in night one on floor.

Let’s just admire that one more time, in slow motion, because I cannot believe we are able to watch this legend compete. 

Oh, and did we mention she’s now a seven-time national champion? Along with winning all-around, she also placed first on vault, beam, and floor, because she’s Simone Biles. 

7. Kara Eaker’s Beam

Kara Eaker performed one of her best beam routines of her career, making a case for herself as a potential for the individual +1 spot. With a 6.0 difficulty and 8.3 execution, she scored a 14.200 and took fifth on the event. 

8. Riley McCusker’s Bars

Speaking of gymnasts deserving of the plus one spot to Tokyo based on one event alone, Riley McCusker showed that even with an injury limiting her to only competing on bars at nationals, she is a strong Tokyo contender. On night two she scored a 15.1 with a 6.4D score, outscoring everyone on night two and taking second to Sunisa Lee for the average of both nights. 

9. New National Team Named

Although the national team is always important, this naming of the national team was especially noteworthy because all those gymnasts are allowed to compete at Olympic Trials. Notable gymnasts left off the team, such as Morgan Hurd, Aleah Finnegan, Chellsie Memmel, and Laurie Hernandez are allowed to petition to go, but there is no word yet on if they will be accepted. 

Named to the national team were: Simone Biles, Skye Blakely, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles, Emma Malabuyo, Leanne Wong, Jade Carey, Kayla DiCello, Amari Drayton, Kara Eaker, Addison Fatta, Shilese Jones, Emily Lee, Grace McCallum, Riley McCusker, Zoe Miller, Ava Siegfeldt, and MyKayla Skinner.

10. Pan American Championships +1

The Pan Am Championships were also this weekend, where Paul Juda earned the U.S. men a +1 Olympic spot by finishing second in the All-Around. The team placed second behind Brazil. Since the competition was at the same time as nationals, all the U.S. men competing there earned a spot to compete at Olympic Trials automatically. 

There were so many big moments from nationals that we'll reflect on as we head towards the 2021 Olympic Trials. What was your favorite moment that we missed? Tell us in the comments!